Karneval 2013-anime series | Director: Eiji Suganuma | Animation Studio: Manglobe | Episode Count: 13 episodes
Earlier this July 2014 purchased Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition. Having over the years kept up with the ongoing trends of anime. I really have noticed that anime like this don’t seem to flood the market. Karneval certainly is geared more after closer introspection for the female audience especially because of all the cute anime guys and anime girls pretty much everywhere. It’s not to say it is not for guys too but it seems from MyAnimeList and other anime fan communities guys dislike it for the obvious fanservice geared toward the female audience. I’m not sure this is too off the mark but if you are open-minded then you can also enjoy this. I still like Karneval perhaps for this aspect because it is going for the female anime fan audience in mind in a world where most anime just seem to be geared for the male anime fan in mind.
That said Karneval has a very interesting unique Fantasy premise. It delivers this surreal and magical fun feeling.The two main guy characters are Nai and Gareki. Nai is trapped by an older woman but he dreams of seeing the world to look for Karoku a young man who abandoned him. Then Gareki another young man intervenes to rescue him.
Nai is really cute and part of the reason decided to get Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition was the voice acting for Nai was so adorable. Thanks in part owed to Hiro Shimono. Gareki also has a really noticeable voice actor who is Hiroshi Kamiya. His voicing here is at play as a mixture of his two voice types: serious and funny.
The animation as many anime fans have pointed out has very high production values accredited to Manglobe (Deadman Wonderland, Ergo Proxy).
One main area also to mention where Karneval excels is the music. It has a strong stamp with the OP (Opening Theme Song) known as “Henai no Rondo” by GRANRODEO. Finally, we have “REASON” by KAmiYU who have just been informed is sung by the voice actors Hiroshi Kamiya and Miyu Irino. Know I see it but didn’t expect Hiroshi Kamiya could sing so amazingly too besides being a talented voice actor. Between the OP and ED really love Reason since it has this colorful and fun playful sound to it but both really do fit to the anime series.
Now with concern to the English dub to this series, well, truthfully it took time to get into the series in English since had seen the subtitled online version back in Spring 2013. It sounds different entirely and I am not sure feel Grey Ayres is the right one for Gareki. Although after a while of hearing grew accustomed to it. Sean Michael Teague voicing Nai was actually pretty ok. Perhaps the voice actors that stood out and gave some of the better charming performances were Ian Sinclair as Hirato, J. Michael Tatum voicing Tsukitachi, and Vic Mignogna as Karoku. In the end, though for Karneval glad it contains both subtitled and a dubbed version.
Discover the dark side of the big top in Karneval—a kaleidoscopic visual parade through a twisted fantasy landscape.
Circus is a super-powered security force of entertainers who keep villains off the streets by serving up justice with a side of razzle-dazzle. Despite their best efforts, a sinister organization named Kafka is gaining power throughout the world using grotesque monsters to carry out their plots. When Circus saves a mysterious boy from Kafka’s grasp, the kid gets swept up in the crime-fighting spectacle—but why was Kafka after him in the first place? From the studio that brought you Michiko & Hatchin and Deadman Wonderland comes one demented freak show.
It basically sums up the series. Karneval has fighting sequences that from fan input seems to be rated highly. The cuteness aspect in the series though is very much the focus. Still there are instances where things aren’t serious and just hilarious but it eventually does get serious. This series was a Spring 2013 Anime Season offering which watched online beside the also airing The Devil is a Part-Timer! and Date A Live by FUNIMATION. For the conclusion think this is way better than The Devil is a Part-Timer! simply because while open-ended it still gave the impression it was the only reasonable way it could end. Personally one of the main reasons picked up Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition was that an anime like this doesn’t come often and even then doesn’t get licensed here in North America. Sentai Filmworks licenses a lot of “unique” anime but FUNimation does only occasionally. Karneval is just that very unique, so had to get this.
By the way, The Devil is a Part-Timer! is also another unique and interesting anime series, so for male anime fans who already think this might not be for you then that series was pretty hilarious. It also had high animation production values like Karneval. Then again worth looking into is Date A Live too. Out of the two though probably Date A Live because The Devil is a Part-Timer! has a sudden and mundane ending that doesn’t close it well and it feels just like it sneaked up on you in how it just ends. Meanwhile you have Date A Live which is good as a standalone and then you have Date A Live 2, Season 2 of Date A Live, to look forward to. Keep in mind though Date A Live 2 hasn’t officially been licensed in the United States yet so you will have to see it online via FUNIMATION and perhaps in the future it will be licensed for home video release by FUNimation Entertainment.
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Comedy, Bishonen
Karneval packaging and on-disc extras: The Limited Edition chipboard box. It is very gorgeous! I kid you not. The illustration on the backside featuring handsome Gareki and cute Nai are done by Touya Mikanagi. At least that is what it says on the artbox of who illustrated, I believe.
Anime Unboxing below. Youtube video by NervEvanReiAyanami.
Karneval DVD on-disc Extras | Blu-ray Also Available but could not test out since have no Blu-ray player
- Episode 1 Commentary (English voice cast)
- Karneval Fashion With J. Michael Tatum | Will be checking out soon!
- Episode 13 Commentary (English voice cast)
- Promotional videos
-Japanese voice actors Promoting the anime series in Japan- 4 TV spots-
- Textless Opening Song ” Henai No Rondo” (Rondo of Fixation)
- Textless Closing Song “Reason” performed by KAmiYU (Voice actors/singers: Hiroshi Kamiya and Miyu Irino)
- Karneval U.S. Trailer
Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD
Amazon.com for some reason has a lower price for the Limited Edition of the Karneval anime series. Whatever the reason take advantage of this. I bought the Limited Edition for around $54.00 but now others can get it for less.
Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$39.20
Karneval: Complete Series Standard Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$54.80
Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$52.49
Karneval: Complete Series Standard Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$48.74
Robert’s Anime Corner Store
Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$48.98
Karneval: Complete Series Standard Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$44.98
Karneval: Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$58.78
Karneval: Complete Series Standard Edition Blu-ray/DVD-$54.58